Town Cat: Fayette's town cat has nine lives and then some 2012.04.18

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

From her desk at the Fayette village office, Dee Potter doesn’t know how many times she’s expected to see a flattened cat lying in Main Street outside her window.

It’s not just any old cat. It’s Jeb that she’s talking about—an orange and white tomcat that claims the west side of the business district as his domain.

With the heavy traffic of U.S. 20 passing through Fayette, Jeb may be pushing his luck when he simply ignores the cars and semis and puts his trust in the kindness of motoring strangers.

So far, he keeps making it through another day.jeb the cat

Lowell Beaverson is the person most familiar with Jeb. The cat belonged to his daughter, the late Jana Beaverson.

“This is the cat that always went to work with her every morning,” Dee said, and then let Lowell take over the tale.

The cat arrived at Jana’s house one day and she took him in. She had him neutered and tried to get him to integrate with her two other cats.

“They didn’t get along all that well,” Lowell said, “and poor Jeb was relegated to the outdoors. But when Jana went to work, Jeb was always there waiting and he went to work with her.”

Jeb became a familiar fixture to customers at Lowell’s insurance agency.

 “After Jana passed away, Jeb became a town cat,” Lowell said.

Don’t ask him where Jeb lives because no one really knows for sure. Lowell has seen him sleeping under Dumpsters and at one time he was sneaking into the upstairs at Beaverson Real Estate.

“He’s got spots all over town,” Dee said.

Jeb makes his rounds downtown every day, Dee said. Gary Ragsdale at the Buckboard Bar and Grille feeds him, Brooke Right at Fayette Floral and Gift feeds him, and maybe others.

“If Brooke has her doors open, he comes in the front and goes on out the back,” Dee said.

The only problem is when Jeb wants to jump up on shelves in the flowershop. That’s going too far.

Jeb also became a pest at Richard Stambaugh’s house on Spring Street after he discovered the cat door for Richard’s own pets, and Jeb tried to make it his home.

Richard heard that it was the insurance agency cat and he brought him back to Lowell, not just once but twice. Jeb seemed to get the message.

Jeb isn’t alone in the world.

“He has a little friend,” Lowell said. “She’s a long-haired dark tortoise shell color. She and Jeb hang out.”

As far as Lowell knows, Gary is the only one who’s allowed to pet her.

She and Jeb have shared some adventures together. They both jumped out the window above Beaverson Realty after Gene inadvertently closed a door they had pushed open.

Lowell wouldn’t be surprised if the two of them curled up together to keep warm over the winter—maybe under the old historic building on the Village Green.

Although Jana is gone, Jeb still waited for Lowell to arrive at the insurance agency every morning at 9 a.m.

“Sometimes he’d spend the whole day there, sometimes he would want to go out in the afternoon. If I gave him some food outside, he would just stare off into the distance until his friend arrived and he’d share it with her.”

After the agency was sold and remodeling got underway, Jeb would walk in, look around and leave again. His favorite chair was gone, as well as his owner.

A lot of people who don’t particularly like cats have taken a shining to Jeb, Lowell said, and many have been amused by his antics and predicaments. Lowell still recalls the day Jeb had a stick of candy stuck to his tail. Removal was handled by Gary.

“I just saw the darndest sight,” someone told Lowell one day. “I was at the bank and there was a cat sitting out in the middle of Fayette Street with traffic going both ways.”

“Was it yellow and white?” Lowell asked. He knew what the answer would be.

“That cat has nine lives and he’s gone through 29,” Dee said.

“Hurry up, cat!” she said later, looking out the window.

Of course it was Jeb slowly making his way across Main Street.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016